Imposition


“the laying on of something as a burden or obligation.”

Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the season of lent, when those who choose to do so focus on spiritually preparing themselves for the resurrection on Easter.

I was 25 minutes late to the imposition of the ashes service. Because college.

But I got there. I sang Rock of Ages. And I walked the walk that I grow anxious for when the days are short and the nights are long.

I hate being an imposition. And the only I place I consistently leave the feeling of imposing behind is at church. It’s where I rest. More than anywhere else, even ren faire. I forget the stress and the anxiety, and I rest knowing I am in the hearts of those around me and am shrouded in love and wishes for peace.

My pastor mentioned something about the ashes, though. That, completely inadvertently on his part, brought my highest level of worry to the forefront of my thoughts as I stood waiting to walk the walk. He said that the first mark is an I… And it represents everyone. Now, whether he meant it or not, I realize now what I never quite understood about Lent. Yes, it’s a good spiritual practice to give something up for a time, but why does there have to be a season?  Why make such a fuss? And I know now the answer. Because by having a season, we know we’re together. We can look at the ashes on each other’s foreheads and we can realize that not only are the ashes imposed on us, not only is some sort of fast imposed on us, but we become and imposition to each other. And when one’s greatest, hugest fear is that they will be an imposition, it’s a crazy comfort to realize that it’s the intent for 40 days.

My words aren’t doing my thoughts justice, but I think you get my meaning. I rest knowing that I definitely and unabashedly impose on each and every person who walked that walk today. And that’s liberating.

In peace,

Me

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Little Bits of My Day- 1/30


Multiple varieties of me being a sitter began last night. I’m being treated well by the four legged, two legged, and four walled entities. Though the tiny four leg is an adorable ball of absolute crazy. 

We talked about gender differences from the perspective of evolutionary psychology today at ze college. All the stuff sounded rather familiar….  Like how women are more cautious of casual sex than men due to the “price” of conception and such. But, get this. The only reason the stuff sounds familiar is because there have been extreme voices of conservative Christianity which have expressed the same thoughts. Only, rather than stating how things have happened theyre stating what should happen. It cracks me up that something with evolution in the name reminded me of the statements I’ve heard from some people who are into the whole young Earth thing. (I’m not saying all or even most young Earth folks are quite so chauvinistic.) 

Greek is breaking me. First crazy week of this semester starts Monday. 3 exams. One lunch. One presentation. One paper. More fencing. Yep. It’ll be cahrazy. 😉 

Me 🙂 

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Little Bits of My Day – 1/29


“It’s so insane, that anyone today still thinks that being born with male genitalia automatically makes you more qualified to know and speak for God than does being a person who actually can bring life into the world.” – See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2014/01/what-do-women-know-about-what-it-takes-to-be-a-pastor/#sthash.mkNZ4hnu.dpuf  (This whole thing is great. The blogger is great, too, but he tends towards more assertive than I am super comfy with. But still. He has some truthiness from a lot of different sides.)

The entirety of With Any Sort of Certainty by Streetlight Manifesto. It’s sticking in my head today. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m also not complaining.

Hmmmm…  Dreams. They’re some weird stuff. Nasal decongestants have a strange tendency to make mine more vivid and memorable. Last night’s was scary, but there were a couple people who were there that I knew would have my back. It was a nervewracking dream.

I’m sitting in the gym waiting for fencing, trying to stay warm and translating The Clouds. Next week is the first intense week if this semester, but everything’s going well and I’m not too worried about much just yet. So far my only problem has been two busted water bottles in one month of class. 

It’s cold you guys. Stay warm. Hug a penguin. 

Me 🙂 

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Getting Antsy for a Move


Frustration is a pretty typical emotion for me lately. I waaaaaaant to get out of this house. I love my family. I really really do. But my efforts need to be focused on me for a while. My mental health is suffering. My physical health, well, it’s never been great. But I need to figure out who I am independent of my Twin (this one’s the hardest), the overwhelming cuteness of my baby sister, the strength of my Mom, and the conflict that has arisen from my Dad. I want to go be awesome and know that I’m responsible for it. I want to know that it really is me that people trust and respect and see as valuable, not just daughter or sister of ______.

I’ve been handling these feelings with a fair amount of competence lately. But. I’ve been asked to house/dog/adolescent sit for upwards of a week for a family my family is friends with. I work (read: act) with the Dad, but haven’t had as much time as I would like to get to know the Mom and daughter. I’ve been discussing what will be involved in the sitting job (taking someone to school before going to school myself, generally taking care of the house, and feeding the dogs, etc) with the Mom the past few days and she keeps talking about how nice it is to know that there’s someone she can trust with her house and dogs and young teenage daughter. I’m rather flattered that I’m trusted so much. And I definitely respect that trust. But it threw me for a loop initially because while I certainly love all three of them to death and know that the Mom and Dad are there for me if I were to ever need them (and the daughter is pretty cool, too), I cannot fathom what I’ve done to make them trust me. Goodness, I could be a pot-smoking nut who just puts on a show (I’m not. For the record. But still.) for all they know. So, I asked my Mom. And she said it’s just because I’m her daughter.

Wait.

What?

My worth is defined by who my mother is?

Hold up a sec.

I love my Mom. I really do. If you know only one thing about me, it’s probably that I love my Mom and respect her to pieces (unfortunately she doesn’t really believe me lately, but I’m not sure what to do about that). But I have to believe that they trust me for me and not because of her. Sure, she helped make me who I am. But I guarantee there is a whole host of decisions I’ve made and values I’ve come to hold with very little help from her (fun fact, courtesy of a silly internet quiz, we’re officially on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum). There are things she’s done that I definitely don’t agree with. There are things she holds as truth which I see with skeptic’s eyes at best. I am definitely a different person. Right?

I need to start living in a space where I know it’s ME that people find trustworthy, and not my Mom. I need to know that it’s ME that’s loveable, not just my sister. I need to know that it’s ME that’s interesting, not just by Twin. I need to know that it’s ME that’s intelligent, not just my Dad. And maybe this is ridiculous or prideful or something. But clearly I have very little reason to think it’s true. To think that my worth comes from me and not the people around me. If I believe that the worth of my brother is a product of his own effort, if I believe that of most adults (even if they’ve only been “adults” for a few months), I should be able to believe it of myself.

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Back There Again


It’s time for slower smiles, harder thoughts, and tear stained pillows. Again. That whole depression thing, I guess. I don’t really know. Nobody’s ever said I’m depressed. And it’s not like anything in life should make me feel that way. But I feel generally blechy lately. Sometimes I think maybe I’m kidding myself. That I’m being ridiculous. Why should I be thinking the things I am? What gives me the right to be sad? Yeah, I don’t know either. I don’t wanna be sad anymore. And it just makes it worse when I’m frustrated with myself for not being happy. It’s a crazy weird cycle. And I’m kinda done with it. But, alas.

So, yeah. Life’s weird right now. The nagging feeling of imposing on the general world around me is fairly constant currently (This is relevant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQucWXWXp3k , “deciding how much space she deserves to occupy,” again I love my mother. a lot.). It’s the beginning of the second semester of Freshman year (two days of class have already been missed). It’s insanely cold. Dancing is nice. I’ve gone man-vegan. Officially. I’m a big fan of my friends right now. And I’ll probably be a bit more involved on campus this semester.

SOOOOO, here’s my list of good things:

  1. I have a roommate for the next school year (at least) and she’s pretty cool. I promise not to drive her nuts.
  2. It’s a four day weekend kind of weekend.
  3. My thighs (which I hate. Every person can hate one part of their body, as per the laws of me, and that’s mine) might actually look decent by the end of the semester because of fencing (holy cow! the lunges!).
  4. I only have one class that’s going to get on my nerves.
  5. If I’m able to get a job with between 25 and 40 hours/week over the summer at minimum wage, I’ll have enough to pay rent and eat at least something over the school year.
  6. We’re going to the aquarium tomorrow and I get to pet rays which is on my list of ten favorite things to do.
  7. I have lots of new CDs for the commute.
  8. I was introduced to Risk! which is a podcast thing of SUPER real stories. And it’s great.
  9. Opportunities for study abroad keep popping up.
  10. I’m in the Honors Scholar program now. Which means, as long as I keep like a 3.5, I get the earliest registration window and top priority for honors seminars (two of which have travel involved, one national and one international).
  11. I’m starting to really get a feel for what my major is going to look like.
  12. Have I mentioned the swingy dresses?
  13. Oh! And henna, and nail polish, and a variety of other things I can paint things with.
  14. Ren Faire will start soon.
  15. My hair is generally looking fabulous.
  16. I just remembered I have feathers to put in my hair. Which makes me happy.
  17. I’m constantly growing and feeling supported as I figure out where I’m headed in ministry.

17 brings me to the little list of what I want to be doing over the next ten years:

First, I want to graduate. That’ll be May 2017. Then I’d like to work for Americorps in Appalachia for a couple years. Maybe work with Peace Corps after that. Then grad school. With plans to get an M.Div and masters in family counseling or social work or some such. That’ll take 2-5 years. And who knows what state or country I’ll be in by then. Somehow being ordained happens (I’m still fuzzy on when and how that happens, and content to stay that way). And basically, I want to love on people and I want to have church everywhere. That’s what I want. So, tops, 12 (and a half) years, which will make me 31. Good grief. That’s terrifying. And really exciting. Hopefully I’ll decide I’m not such an imposition in that span of time. And sometime in there, I’m sure life will change things up. I might meet someone who cares enough to change my man-vegan stance (I really have zero interest in dating right now). Tiny humans become a possibility starting in the second half of that dozen year span (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB1yS3IE , first few minutes). My baby sister will be able to legally drink by then. Which is a reality I will forever ignore. She’ll probably have a boyfriend. Which means he’s gonna have to like her an awful lot, because he’ll have some hard times coming his way from her twin older siblings. Poor guy. I will have moved probably 6 or 7 times. Which means the majority of my possessions will be reduced to a dresser, a bed, and my hope chest filled with hope chest-y things, kitchen things, and books. All the books. And it’s probably better that way. In fact, I should start working on condensing my clutter in preparation for my move this summer. Which will be the first time I’ve moved in 13 years (not counting the acquisition of another “home” courtesy of my parent’s divorce). Hopefully I will have been to South America or Africa by then. Maybe even Asia and continental Europe. Or Eastern Europe. Maybe all of them. Hopefully I’ll see the rest of the states. Maybe I’ll live in Canada.

And that seems like a wonderful place to sleep. Much love and I wish you enough.

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Lil Bit Scared… Of All The Things


Babies. Marriage. (Probably)Married-Activities-That-Potentially-Make-Babies (and, ya know, stuff). Boys. Relationships. Family. Future Being Anything Other Than Alone.

All these things have started scaring the ever lovin’ snot out of me. I had this wonderfully long list of stuff about 2013 that I wanted to post for the new year, but I just can’t get this out of my head long enough to write anything else.

I’m scared. Very very scared. I’m enjoying the whole college thing. And the whole almost independent thing. And it’s not like being alive is scary or anything. I’m even pretty happy with myself. As long as the only person I’m affecting is myself. But anybody else being in the picture scares me half to death.

Friends who are just a few years older than me are getting married and having children. I’d love to be married and have children someday. I think it would be fantastic. Having a family with someone. But the uncertainty of it scares me. Everything leading up to being married or having children scares me. The fact that it might not even work in the end scares me. And I know neither a husband or a child is anywhere close to happening. So it shouldn’t be a big deal, I’m kind of borrowing tomorrow’s worry and stuff. But something regarding my future family is more than likely happening in the next ten years, if not five. (Along with college and my life plans of loving on people and having Random Church while doing who knows what to actually make money.) Because that’s just the age I’m at.

And I’m scared.

It’s irrational.

It’s probably normal.

But I just need to write like I’m scared for a moment. I need to take off the hat of “why of course I know what I’m doing even if I don’t. Because confidence.” And just be scared.

As far as children, I’ve been assured that it’s perfectly fine for pregnancy and babies to freak me out until I’m at least 26. Because babies ARE scary. Having them is scary. You’re all of a sudden a Mom running on very little sleep and responsible for another life. Completely. If you’re lucky. If stars have aligned and you’ve been smart. AKA: if the baby’s Dad happens to want to be a Dad. There will be someone there with you. But even then, you’re both not going to be dealing with postpartum depression. You’re both not going to be experiencing some serious hormonal problems. You’re both not going to be physically responsible for actually feeding this tiny former peanut alien. And Dads, I’m really not trying to diminish your role in the whole baby thing, because goodness knows every Mom I know has been thankful for the support, empathy, and love of their husbands. Also, what if something goes wrong?  That’s scary. I don’t, nor will I ever, know how to care for a itty bitty life. And I know nobody does. It’s kind of impossible. Because you’re not actually that itty bitty life. BUT YOU HAVE TO PRETEND YOU DO CAUSE A SMALL THING DEPENDS ON YOU.

But, like I said, I have another 8 years to be content in being terrified of ever having children. And currently I’m going to take advantage of that and be okay on that front.

Onto the mere thought of ever having a significant other.

First things first- This funny whatever it was feeling for this boy that’s been going on for like four years is actually over. And done. Because he’s got a girl. Well, the same girl. Just again. And I’m happy for him (and, no, I’m not repressing some anger or sadness, I’m allowed to be honestly happy for him). I’ve somehow decided to trust his judgement that we wouldn’t work. Which is bizarre and a new philosophy of mine I’ll come back to eventually. But the hope that this kind of love- which started when I really had no idea (and by no idea, I mean even less of an idea that my current one) what love entails (for a lot of reasons…  age, family situation, etc)- would somehow stick around so I wouldn’t have to fall in love again, and so I wouldn’t have to risk this insane hurt again, became a hurtful kind of hope. And then things happened. And we talked. We are friends. He has apologized for what seems like the millionth time (and, as per our usual, I’ve forgiven him, and this time assured him that I’m okay, which was not a part of the last couple times), and he’s assured me that he’s got my back. And the hope is gone. And now I’m breathing again. No more wondering. No more figuring out what to say to him. And I’m seriously fighting the urge to berate myself on how ridiculous I was. Because I got SO wrapped up in a guy who was never that wrapped up in me. Why did I do that?  I have no idea. But right now I’d like to chalk it up to life and move on.

So now I’m very excited and very terrified all at once. I don’t want to hurt again. I don’t want to fall in love again. I want someone to want to share life-y stuff with me. But I can’t shake the fear that that’s just not gonna happen. I really just want someone to share life with. Which sounds so cheesy and weird. But little things and happy things and weird things that I experience…  I want someone to share them with. And I want to know somebody else’s little things and happy things and weird things. I don’t want friends with benefits. I want to kiss someone and it mean something. And then keep kissing them for a bazillion days after. And for the love of all that has ever been Holy, I want an honest relationship. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO TRUST SOMEONE. Someone who actually knows me and my weirdness (like, I might propose on the spot if a guy is ever able to survive, or *gasp* enjoys being around me even though he knows how I act when I’m by myself). I want to know that there’s someone who wants to be with me. And I’m having a really hard time believing that right now. I’m not sure I ever believed it in the first place. But there has been something to distract me from dilemmas like this for the past few years. And before that I thought boys were gross. (Actually, that’s not true, that skips a couple years I’d like to forget.)

But here’s the thing. What if I find someone who wants me, someone who cares, someone I have a loving relationship with and somewhere down the line they decide they don’t want to be married to me anymore. What if we do all the right things like being honest and open to communication and compromise and for some reason he just decides he wants to be with someone else, or he wants to be somewhere else?  What if, despite learning things from my mistakes and the mistakes of people around me, it still ends?  Then what? 

And the problem is so much bigger than just not wanting a relationship or a family or whatever. Because I do want those things and that’s what makes it so damn frustrating. I just apologized to a friend-type boy because I didn’t want to annoy him at work. I also recently messaged a guy friend of mine after we had been talking on and off for several days and informed him that I was really close to asking him if I was being annoying. They both replied in the way of “well, we’re still talking aren’t we? You’re nuts, woman.” I also apologized to that boy who I’ve talked about way. too. much. And he says talking is a good thing to be doing. They’re all three my good friends. So why do I feel the need to apologize preemptively? WHY? Because I hate the thought of imposing on anyone. I hate the thought of leaving any sort of mark on anyone. I hate the idea that I could be seen as clingy and that they would decide to end our friendship. I hate thinking that I’m acting like a ridiculous “lazy waste of skin.” I spent a long time, in my infinite preteen wisdom, just *knowing* that if I took up less space, and if I was quieter, if I was less bothersome, if I didn’t need so much, then my Dad would come home. And somehow this has transferred into my automatic response to talking to any guy I’m friends with. Because if I take up too much room, I’m going to lose a friend. Sometimes my subconscious is an idiot. And guys who prove it wrong are the best. Sometimes I hate being tall. Sometimes I hate being overweight. Sometimes I hate taking up space. And again, it’s not an issue with life. I don’t want to disappear. I just don’t want to be in the way. I don’t want to be a nuisance. How am I supposed to expect anyone ever to actively want me to take up a huge part of their life? What makes me that important?  I really don’t know. I honestly have no idea. But I hope someone does eventually.

So, here’s my goal for the next little bit. I’m going to be alive in  my own way. A way which is usually quiet. Usually calm. Usually loving. But I’m going to do it in a solid, loud, real, big way. I’m going to spread out and make art and tiny life epiphanies. And trust that the people, especially the men, around me, who take time to talk to me and reassure me, actually want me to be taking up space around them (just like I want them to be taking up space around me).

Me ❤

 

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A Brief Break from the Last English 105 Paper


My problem with writing papers (particularly of the research type, and particularly when that research has everything to do with religion):
I’m afraid of not being able to address all of the issues and counter all of the arguments in a paper. And then I realize that I’ll never be able to do all of those things. And then I get even more scared because I feel like I’m doing something wrong. And then I waste time. And then I give myself writer’s block because I’m scared.

This topic is the one I’m most interested in and passionate about. And so I have more to risk by being wrong. Or something.

I have a problem with fear standing in the way of expression. It’s a general theme of me.

I have no idea how to fix this.

In the meantime…  This paper is due tomorrow. And I’m about to lose my mind over it. Maybe I’ll post it here once I get my grade back and y’all can let me know your thoughts. *nods*

 

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Hey Look! Once Again, Music Has Words I Don’t

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A Note on What Love Looks Like


So, today is the anniversary of my Mom’s parents wedding (if you’ve never met them, they are two of the best people on the face of the world). They’ve been married for 45 years.

I took the opportunity to ask Mamaw about how she and Papaw met… 

Partly because it’s a pretty great story (they met in Florida, but they grew up about an hour-ish apart- one in WV and the other in KY).

Partly because everything that could be going wrong has been going wrong since Tuesday and I need a happy thing.

Partly because there’s a serious mantra of “I’m going to die old and alone” going on in my head (for a lot of reasons, just one of which is that no guy has ever asked me out or anything, which kind of sucks when people like 2-4 years older than me are getting married and having babies…  The other fifty reasons are new ones and scary ones and such things).

Partly because she told me that there is someone out there for me.

Well, what I learned is that (a) My Papaw always knew he wanted to marry her. (b) They only knew each other for 7 months before they got married. (c) Their relationship was built almost entirely over the phone in the beginning (because of work schedules and military stuffs and such things).

So, yeah. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MAMAW AND PAPAW!

And hope is always there. I don’t much feel like talking about the new scary things that popped into my head and scared the hope away for a bit. But it’s back. And that is good. 

(As a side note- I don’t even know why this is such an issue for me right now. I’ve never {and still don’t} had any inclination to date just to be dating…  But I guess part of it is I want someone to share cool life things with, and I’ll be leaving the people I’ve always done that with in the near future {i.e.- my siblings and Mom}. Plus, well, it’s a different kind of need to share things than it is with the family you’re born with. So I guess I’m being normal.)

Stay warm, stay dry, stay safe!

Me 🙂

 

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When I’m too busy with finals to actually think about things so stuff like this just hits me like a brick wall and then you get to read the super condensed version


I feel like I’m falling out of a … something strong and fuzzy… I didn’t know I still held…

Becoming friends.

It’s all very terrifying.

He’s still one of my favorite people.

I enjoy being around him.

If I could spend forever talking to him and being around him, I probably would. (Which sounds completely creepy. And I’m not entirely sure how to remedy that. But I can’t get you to understand unless you’ve done this. It’s a totally platonic “you make me laugh”, it’s completely stressless around you, and the same cannot be said for a few parts of my life right now {though things like college stress are definitely OK} so I just like being around you, kay? sort of thing.)

I’m still not 100% (or even 22%) sure what happened between us.

Feelings.

His or mine.

What happened.

What I was thinking.

Any of it.

So what is it that I’m feeling all of a sudden?

Resignation to never knowing?

Resignation to my fate of being friend zoned?

A sudden smack of knowledge that I will never be to him what he was to me?

The full realization of the intricacies of unrequited love?

And why is it hopeful?

Because I hope things will change?

Because I hope this means I’ll grow close to someone else soon?

What?

I. Don’t. Even. Know.

And currently I’m gonna ignore it. Because I need friends right now so I don’t lose my mind (hello, college, nice to meet you). And he’s one of them. And I don’t have any intentions of changing anything about that anytime soon.

In fact, if we could just forget it all ever happened, that would be grande.

Sorry self, that’s not how hearts work.

Well, shoot.

Friends’ll do. Won’t forget, but I’ll just not think about it. Embrace the moment and things. *nods*

Me

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